The last time the Portland Trail Blazers won the NBA Draft Lottery was in 2007 when the team selected Ohio State center Greg Oden.
In hindsight, passing on Kevin Durant, who went second to the Seattle Supersonics, was the wrong choice. KD is on his way to becoming one of the best players in league history, while Oden flamed out of the NBA with awful injury luck.
No one will ever know what could have been had the 7-footer been able to stay healthy, but alas.
In the leadup to the ’07 draft, however, everything broke right for Portland. The Blazers had the seventh-best odds at landing the first overall pick but vaulted to the top spot with a star rookie guard sitting at the podium waiting for the ping pong balls to drop.
The franchise will be hoping for an identical outcome in 2023 as it brings back that same player who eventually became a Rip City fan favorite and one of the best scorers in franchise history to sit at the Portland lottery podium once again on May 16.
Brandon Roy will be the Blazers 2023 NBA Draft Lottery representative
After being named the 2006-07 NBA Rookie of the Year, Brandon Roy sat at the Portland dais awaiting the results of the 2007 lottery. One by one, teams with better odds at landing the No. 1 pick went off the board while Roy waited.
By the end of the night, the Blazers had lucked into the first overall selection and the right to choose between Oden and Durant, who were thought of as two franchise-changing prospects at the time.
If the Rip City legend can work his magic on the ping pong balls again, an offseason full of questions will be answered in a matter of seconds.